20 November, 2017
26 February, 2019
23 Rui Hachimura (JPN), 22 Nicholas Ryan Fazekas (JPN)
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Japan spring upset of the ages at Australia's expense!

CHIBA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers) - Led by their new reinforcements, Japan shocked Australia, 79-78, and notched the most historic win in Japanese basketball.

With naturalized player Nick Fazekas and US NCAA standout Rui Hachimura leading the charge, Japan blitzed the Boomers with their length and athleticism. Fazekas scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Hachimura added 24 points and 7 boards. Their 1-2 punch was plainly unstoppable even in the face of NBA players Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova.

Baskets by Ryusei Shinoyama and Hachimura gave Japan a 79-74 lead with just 12 ticks to go, but there were still tense moments till the end as Chris Goulding split his charities and hit a 3-point shot for the final spread.

It was Japan's first win of the Asian Qualifiers, and the result enabled them to stay alive for a spot in the second round. If the Akatsuki Five win against Chinese Taipei in their final assignment, they go through and advance. Their battle takes place on 2 July at the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium

Australia will try to pick up the pieces of this loss, their first ever since starting to play in FIBA Asia last year. They will hope to bounce back against the Philippines on 2 July at the Philippine Arena.